It has been well over a week; all the same, we had a power surge last Friday. It turns out, amidst the chaos, I lost this week’s blog post.
I remember most my points, although of course, with several days of rest, I find my perspective somewhat changed.
The first bit of news I wanted to share was this is my last blog post until January. I just landed a few hours ago in Houston, and by Friday I’m off to yet another conference where I’ll be departing from Houston. I admit as I drove back to Victoria in the bits of rain we had last evening, I deeply wished Victoria College was called Houston College. So, if I do not see you in person before we close for winter break, have a wonderful holiday.
The second bit of news I wanted to share was perhaps more profound. I have been sitting in college classrooms recently, as the invited member of various tenure committees. I enjoyed those moments where I got to see our students and faculty in action. There are new things I found that I wanted to borrow from the classrooms I was privileged to share. There are ‘old’ things I do in my classroom where my third person perspective is making me have second thoughts on whether I need to modify or even prune how I teach.
My final thought I learned over the break from my Great Grandmother. In what I suspect is the last bit of wisdom I will get from her, she listened carefully to all the things I did since I had last seen her. Then she reminded me always to pay attention to what was important, and ask before doing anything: “How does this help me move closer to what needs to be done?”.
Wise words, when it is easy to get bogged down here at the end of term. My goal, your goal, is our students’ ultimate success. We want them to be deep thinkers and amazing doers. They must learn complicated concepts and master challenging skills. It is the best way to make sure that no matter what the future throws at our students, they will have the best chances to succeed.
Even when the thunder rolls, there is something to learn. We can either hide from or begrudge the rain, or we can Ben Franklin* our kite into the chaos to catch the power surge.
*Neither Victoria College nor I actually recommend taking a kite into a thunderstorm. Fly kites and be near electricity of any sort at your own risk. Additionally, neither Victoria College nor I actually believe Ben Franklin is a verb outside of this limited poetic license.